The esctoday.com team wishes you a very happy 2005! To make sure we're also the first to wish you a happy new year in the eastern parts of Europe, we decided to publish our new year's message now, instead of waiting until it's 0:00. And now… a letter from your Chief Editor…
Dear visitors, dear team members, dear partners,
In many ways, 2004 was a memorable year. Turkey did a good job organising the 49th Eurovision Song Contest, while Norway did the same with the 2nd Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Ruslana from Ukraine brought the 50th edition of the contest to Ukraine where, after a difficult period, a new election round brought a new president. Let's hope that Ukraine can get itself back on track again, while we're looking forward to a spectaculair 50th Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev and a great 3rd Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Hasselt, Belgium!
A lot happened in 2004, too much to mention all news events. 2004 started, as usual, with January, when Mikhail Saakasjvili won the Georgian presidential elections with almost 95 percent of the votes. The Marslander Spirit gave us a first detailed look on our neighbour planet Mars. In March, terror attacks in the Spanish capital Madrid shocked the world. In May, Ruslana won the Eurovision Song Contest, while in July, all eyes were focussed on a gas explosion tragedy in Belgium. In October, EU leaders signed the first edition of the European constitution. In November, Kerry lost the presidential elections in the United States, in favour George W. Bush. The murder on the Dutch writer and movie maker Theo van Gogh shocks the Netherlands and Europe, while the tsunami disaster in Asia shocked the whole world only days ago. Yes my friends, news is, unfortunately, often sad and shows us that our passion for the Eurovision Song Contest is relevant. That's why we decided to start with the action Help Asia, which encourages esctoday.com visitors to donate for the victims of Asia's tsunamis.
Like I said, our passion for the Eurovision Song Contest is relevant, seen in perspective with everything that happens on our planet. Meanwhile, we should not forget that the Eurovision Song Contest is an example of sharing culture and music that gives many people the opportunity to make new friends.
I would like to thank you for your support in 2004. First of all the visitors: esctoday.com is here for you and we hope we still meet your expectations. Without our dedicated team of editors (and some in particular) esctoday.com wouldn't exist. It's hard somtimes to meet the expections of our visitors, especially because all editors are doing their job on a voluntary base. Nevertheless, some of them paid an enormous amount of time to write news articles. A big, big thank you! Also I'd like to thank our partner websites for their support, which is essential for the success of esctoday.com. It makes me happy to see that passion for the Eurovision Song Contest inspired many to start their own websites to serve the fans, the press and even the participants of the contest!
Finally, I would like to pay special attention to Euro-Music chairman Raf Van Bedts. After seven years fullfilling the role of chairman with didication, he decided to resign from his position. Raf, I would like to thank you for your endless dedication, your efforts and the personal feedback I received from you. In my opinion (and I know I am not the only one), your efforts have been essential for Euro-Music's success. You have enough reasons to be proud on yourself! I know I can talk for ages about the ups and downs in our relationship, the Euro-Music convention I attended and my respect for your work, but for now I would like to keep it simple: thank you!
My dear friends, from Amsterdam I would like to wish you a very happy 2005. May all your dreams come true!
Chief Editor esctoday.com